What did the Vedic Hindus pray for? (Post No. 4209)

Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 13 September 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 16-14

 

Post No. 4209

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

 

Vedic Hindus prayed for wealth, long life, good and heroic sons, cows and horses. They prayed to destroy internal enemies ( violent atheists- violent non believers). They always aimed high; they asked hundred fold and thousand fold of everything; they talk of gold; they were very well organised and organised ploughing ceremonies with golden plough. They were great agriculturalists. They talk of paddy, barley, sugar cane ,sesame seeds etc. They were sons of the soil. Most of the plants and herbs they mentioned are tropical plants. They did not come from cold places. Rice and sesame seeds were part of their ceremonies. They were great mathematicians who always used decimal system in their prayers. The wonder of wonder is that they always prayed for ‘us’ not ‘me’. They conducted group prayers. Highly intelligent, well organised and heroic people were the Vedic Hindus. Their prayers are echoed in simple Sanskrit and Tamil hymns of today.

They even fixed the human life span as 100 years! A healthy and prosperous people were they!

 

Their three great contributions to the human race are

 

Cows

Horses and

Decimal system

 

No other – Egyptian, Babylonian, Mayan, Chinese- ancient books have such clear cut, venerable references to the above three. All these happened between 1500 BCE and 6000 BCE. Rig Veda is the most wonderful book in the world.

 

Following are few examples from over 1000 hymns and 10,000 mantras of the Rig Veda.

 

 

PRAYER FOR WEALTH

Bring us the wealth for we long 8-45-42

 

O Soma drinker, ever true, utterly hopeless though we be,

Do thou, O Indra, give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine in thousands, O most wealthy one

 

O Lord of strength, whose  jaws are strong, great deeds are thine, the powerful;

Do thou, O Indra,

give us hope of beauteous horses and of kine in thousands, O most wealthy one 1-29

 

O Indu, Soma, send us now great opulence from everyside.

Pour on us treasurers thousand fold 9-40-40

Pour out on us abundant food, when thou art pressed, O Indu, wealth

In kine and gold and steeds and strength 9-41-4

 

will ye then, Maruts, grant us riches, durable, rich in defying onslaught

A hundred, thousand fold, ever increasing 1-64-15

 

Knowing our chief felicity, O Agni bring hither ample riches to our nobles 7-1-24

 

O wondrous Indra, bring us wondrous riches 7-20-7

 

At he commencement of Ploughing, the following verse was repeated with an offering of fire:

 

Auspicious sita, come thou near; we venerate and worship thee

That thou mayst bless and prosper us and bring us fruits in abundantly 6-57-6

 

A hymn to Varuna, in which deliverance from sin is sought ends with,

“King, may I never lack well-ordered riches 2-2-8

PARDON FOR SINS

 

Sons, long life, wealth and victory over enemies are  frequent requests of Vedic Hindus. There are, however, scattered prayers for spiritual blessings, especially in hymns to Varuna. The Rig-Veda, v. 85, contains the following

 

“If we have sinned against the man who loves us, have ever wronged a brother, friend, or comrade,

The neighbour ever with us, or a stranger, O Varuna, remove from us the trespass. 5-85-7

 

If we, as gamesters, cheat at play, have cheated, done wrong unwittingly or sinned of purpose,

 

Cast all these sins away like loosened fetters, and, Varuna, let us be thine own beloved.”

 

“Absolve us from the sins of our fathers, and from those which we committed with our own bodies, It was not our own will, O Varuna, but some seduction which led us astray–an intoxicating draught, passion, dice, thoughtlessness. The stronger perverts the weaker even sleep brings un- righteousness. (Rig-Veda, 7- 86.)

 

 

 

Prayers of this nature chiefly occur in the hymns to Varuna, the principal of which have been quoted. A few other extracts may be given.

 

Aditi, Mitra, Varuna, forgive us however we have erred and sinned against you. 2. 27.14.

 

Prolong our days of life (ye Asvins), wipe out our trespasses.1-157-4

 

Most, youthful god (Agni) whatever sin through folly, here in the world of men we have committed.

 

Before  great Aditi make thou us sinless remit entirely, Agni our offences. 4-12-4

 

Let us not suffer for the sins of others, nor do the deed which ye. O Vasus, punish.” 6, 51. 7.

 

“What secret sin or open stirs their (Maruts) anger, that we implore the swift to forgive us.7 58. 5.

 

That he, the bounteous god (Brihaspati) may find us sinless, who giveth at a distance like a father.” 7- 97, 2

 

“Save us (Visvedevas) from uncommitted and committed sin, preserve us from all sin to-day for happiness 10-63-8

 

 

FUTURE WORLD

 

The references to this are few, and chiefly found in the Ninth and Tenth Books the Rig Veda. The great desire of the Hindus was to enjoy the present life.

 

“The givers of rich meads are made immortal; the givers of rich fees prolong their life time.” I. 125, 6

 

 

“May I attain to that his well loved mansion when men devoted to the gods are happy

 

We pray for rain, your boon (Mitra varuna) and immortality.” 5-63-2

 

“When I and Indra mount high up to the bright one’s place and home

We, having drunk of Meath, will reach his seat whose friends are three times seven.” 8-38-7

 

We have drunk Soma and became immortal; we have attained the light, the gods discovered.” 8- 48- 3.

 

High up in heaven abide the guerdon-givers; they who give dwell with the Sun for ever. They who give gold are blest with life eternal: they who give robes protect their lives, o Soma. 10. 107, 2.

 

xxx

PRAYER FOR RAINS

 

Lift up the mighty vessel; pour down water, and let the liberated streams rush forward

 

Saturate both the earth and heaven with fatness, and for the cows let there be drink abundant. 5. 83. 8

 

 

XXX

 

Sons

 

The following are a few examples

 

“ Men yearn for children to prolong their line, and are not disappointed in their hope.1-68-4

 

May the wealth giver (Agni) grant us wealth with heroes (sons)

May the wealth giver grant us food with offspring.” I, 96, 8

 

Help us to wealth, exceeding good and glorious, abundant, rich in children and their progeny 2-2-12

 

To us be born a son and spreading offspring 1-96-8

 

Brihaspati, may we be lords of riches, with noble progeny, and store of heroes 4. 50. 6.

xxx

 

LONG LIFE

 

Hindus reckoned their years by winters Probably in later hymns autumns are substituted. ( Hindus are most scientific; even today in North India and European countries, old people die more during winter. So Hindus prayed that they must survive the hard and cold winter)

 

 

 

 

Grant unto us to see a hundred Antumns; ours be the happy life of our forefathers.” II, 27, 10

 

Long let our life, O Agni, be extended 4, 12, 6.

 

Accept, o Maruts, graciously this hymn of mine that we may live a hundred winters through its power 5- 54, 15

 

Be gracious, Indra, let my days be lengthened

6, 47, 10

 

xxx

 

 

Preservation from Danger.

 

Amidst constant wars with the atheists, this request frequently occurs in the hymns.

But safety is also sought from other dangers, as snake bites.

 

In thy kind grace (Indra) find favour may we still be strong to expose not to any foe’s  attack.

 

With manifold assistance guard and succour us, and bring us to felicity.” 8-3- 2.

 

May  weathy Indra as our good protector, Lord of all treasures, favour us with succour

 

Baffle our foes, and give us rest and safety.6. 47, 12.

 

Savitar, god, send far away all sorrows and calamities

 

And send us only what is good.” 5. 82, 5

 

Give us not up to any evil

creature, as spoil to wolf or she- wolf, O ye holy 6, 51,6

 

May they, Earth, Aditi, Indra, Bhaga, Pushan increase our land, increase the fivefold people.

Giving good help, good refuge, goodly guidance, be they our good deliverers, good protectors 6-51-11

Not to the fanged that bites,not

to the toothless give not us up, thou conqueror to the spoiler 1-190-5

 

xxx

 

 

DESTRUCTION OF ENEMIES

 

 

Next to wealth, this is one of the most frequent petitions; some prayers include all who are unfriendly; others single out individuals

 

Destroy this ass, O Indra, who in tones discordant b rays to thee

 

Slay each reviler, and destroy him who in secret injures us.” 1-29-5

 

0 Agni,radiant one, to whom the holy oil is poured, burn up enemies whom fiends protect.1-12-5

 

Cast thy dart knowing, thunderer, at the Dasyu I. 103, 3

 

Whatever mortal with the power of demons fain would injure us.

 

May be impetuous, suffer harm by his own deeds, 8. 18.3

 

Crunch up on  everyside the dogs who bark at us slay ye our foes, O Asvins. I. 182, 4.

 

Consume for ever all demons and sorcerers, consume thou each devouring fiend. I. 36, 20.

 

Drive from us with thy tongue, o god, the man who doeth evil deeds

 

The mortal who would strike us dead.” 6, 16, 32.

 

  1. Annihilate the fools, slay them and burn them up. Chase them away from us, pierce the voracious ones.
  2. Against the foe of prayer, devourer of raw flesh, the vile fiend, fierce of eye, keep ye perpetual hate.

 

  1. The fiend O Agni, who designs to injure the essence of our food, kine, steeds, of bodies,

May he, the adversary, thief, and robber, sink to destruction both himself and offspring.

 

  1. “May be he swept way, himself and children. May all the three earths press him down beneath them.

 

May his fair glory, O ye gods, be blighted, who in the day or night would fain destroy us. VII 104

 

Quotations have been given from Hymn 87 Book X. addressed to Agni, the Slayer of Rakshasas.

 

 

–SUBHAM–

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